The UAE’s Active Support for Humanitarian and Development Objectives

  • 29 June 2014

Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), the UAE gives top priority to supporting global humanitarian and development objectives. This stems from the country’s awareness that this is in the interest of security, development and stability of the whole world. The UAE is always keen to direct its initiatives toward meeting these objectives. A series of initiatives announced recently provide evidence to this effect. The Suqia drive, launched yesterday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide clean water to approximately five million people worldwide, is its most recent example.

During her meeting with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which plays a vital role toward eradicating polio worldwide – Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation and Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, asserted that the UAE looks forward to enhancing partnerships with countries and organizations around the world. Dubai Cares has also launched its 2014 Ramadan campaign, “What If?” and urged residents of the UAE to ramp up efforts to ensure universal education for children in developing countries.

Such initiatives embody the UAE’s aid philosophy, which is based on diversity and inclusion and is not limited to humanitarian efforts or charity but go beyond to help poor communities so that they achieve comprehensive and sustainable development. The UAE contributes to the establishment of infrastructure and services projects across various fields. The Suqia initiative, in its essence, responds to the needs of many communities and poor regions around the world that are in need of clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization estimates, more than 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases.

The UAE has been at the forefront supporting global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has allocated AED 440 million toward achieving this objective. The ‘What If?’ initiative aims at increasing awareness of the importance of education for children in developing countries and its positive impact on building the future. UNICEF statistics reveal that 57 million primary age children around the world are out of school. One of the UAE’s aid objectives has been to replicate the UAE education system in developing countries and to provide the necessary infrastructure for it.

These initiatives, aimed at supporting global humanitarian and development objectives, emphasize the positive role played by the UAE’s wise leadership in this regard. This has been confirmed by data released by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), issued in April. The data showed that the UAE stood first globally as the largest donor toward foreign aid compared to its GDP. The country set a global precedence last year as its total foreign aid increased 375 percent. The country made a historic leap in the sphere of foreign aid and jumped from 19th position in 2012 to first position in 2013.